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Wedding seating - awkward situation

(239 Posts)
carefreeeee Mon 22-Feb-16 11:06:22

My partner's sister is getting married in 2 weeks. My partner and I have been together for about a year and I have met the sister and her partner about 4 times, and got on well. I know the parents as well and they come to tea at our house and we go to theirs etc, no problems.

I have just found out that at the wedding breakfast, my partner will be seated at the top table along with the bride, groom, their parents, 2 bridesmaids and 2 best men. However apparently there is no space for me and I will be seated with some friends of the bride whom I have never met.

I think this is a bit off because a) it makes it clear that they don't consider me a member of their family and b) I don't think it is very nice to sit a guest away from everyone they know.

Obviously it is up to them how they arrange things, but as far as I was aware if you are invited to a wedding as a couple you would normally be seated togther, and I don't think it's that traditional to have the bride's brother at the top table anyway so I don't really see the need for this...he doesn't have any other role in the wedding/isn't doing a speech or anything.

I don't want to make a fuss and tell them how to do their seating plan etc. But at the same time I don't really want to go under those circumstances - I think it would be awkward and embarrassing, and the only reason I would go is to be with my partner - I don't know the sister all that well.

The wedding is being held close to where we live so it would be easy enough for me not to go...

WIBU to cancel last minute due to a family emergency/ or would it be better to cancel now and explain why...although I don't want to fall out with anyone as they are basically nice people? Help!

Sparkletastic Mon 22-Feb-16 11:09:34

Get your DP to ask if he can be seated on the table with you. No not a required tradition at all to have him at the top table. My DB happily sat with my closest friends at an adjoining table at my wedding.

Sparkletastic Mon 22-Feb-16 11:10:25

If you are hoping to become a closer family member don't whatever you do cancel at the last minute.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 11:12:59

Tbh I wouldn't consider someone to be part of my family after only a year. I do think, though, that he should be sitting with you.

HereIAm20 Mon 22-Feb-16 11:13:11

It does sound odd to have a brother at the top table when he is not part of the wedding party. However, what I would say is however much you would feel uncomfortable being separated from your partner during the meal if you plan to be with him long term would it be best to just put up with it for now rather than end up being the fussy one who couldn't be separated for an hour or two! It could impact long term on your relationship with his family.

Alternatively if you feel up to saying although I appreciate you want DP on the top table can the let you know whether the table they have you on is nearby where he is placed. After all it may be that you are sat directly in front of him and therefore able to chat to him and his parents during the meal.

Either way I think this is a battle I would chose not to have with prospetive inlaws.

wartynose Mon 22-Feb-16 11:13:28

Honestly I don't think it's a problem.
DH was BM for his brother when we'd been married 5 years and I was sat with friends of the bride. It was much more fun than being on the top table.

Redglitter Mon 22-Feb-16 11:17:30

Partners don't sit at the top table but then as a rule neither do siblings who aren't bridesmaids/best man.

It would need to be one hell of a family emergency for you to get out of going. Whats your partner saying about it does he know how you feel. Personally I think if youre planning on this being your future family you're going to have to just grin and bear it. It's only a couple of hours for the actual meal. Mention your reservations in plenty time and get them to put you with someone you'll get on with

wigglesrock Mon 22-Feb-16 11:18:01

I don't think it's a problem, it's happened at lots of weddings I've been to. The only thing is that usually the partner has been part of the wedding party - usher, best man, bridesmaid etc, but maybe the sister just wants her parents, siblings at the same table.

willconcern Mon 22-Feb-16 11:19:00

Sounds like they want the family at top table. You say you've met sister about 4 times, and don't know her that well.

This is for the meal, nothing else. So max of a couple of hours out of a whole day. You might like the sister's friends!

Sorry, but I think you're being really precious and you should just go, and sit where they have placed you. I think if you make a big fuss of this, it'll be remembered. Definitely do not cancel. I think the most you should do is get your DP to just ask to sit with you rather than on top table. Personally I wouldn't even do that.

I went to my DP's daugher's wedding last year. DP sat on top table, along with his ex and her husband, bridesmaids, best man and their other two children. We'd been together for 6 months or so by then. I sat on a table with some other members of the family, and had a lovely time. Totally acceptable in my view.

almostthirty Mon 22-Feb-16 11:19:42

If he is part of the wedding party then he should be on the top table. Unless you are bridesmaid I can't see why you should.
Both dhs siblings were on our top table but their partners were not and didn't expect to be. Also my Mil partner was also not sat at the top table.
My bridesmaids partners a day husbands were also not sat at the top table.if all partners were sat at the top table we would have ended up with 16 people which would have been ridiculous.

It's a wedding so lots of people won't know each other, you just have to get on with it and chat to whoever is on your table.

momb Mon 22-Feb-16 11:19:54

If your partner isn't an usher he doesn't need to be on the top table. he could ask to sit with you...but do it soon as they may be having a seating plan printed!

LeanneBattersby Mon 22-Feb-16 11:19:56

This is quite a normal seating arrangement. I wouldn't kick off if I were you or else you'll look like a diva. Just suck it up.

almostthirty Mon 22-Feb-16 11:20:56

And not a day

1AngelicFruitCake Mon 22-Feb-16 11:21:45

I've seen this happen before so not that surprising. I purposefully didn't do it for the reasons you've given.

Personally, if your partner is important to you then just do it and try and make the best of it. Don't go on about it and make a drama. You've only met her a few times so you're not close to her. Don't make this hard for your partner as I think cancelling last minute would be letting him down. It's just one of those occasions where you've got to get on with it for the sake of someone else.

Only1scoop Mon 22-Feb-16 11:21:57

Wouldn't bother me in the slightest.


t1mum Mon 22-Feb-16 11:22:56

Partners don't sit at the top table but then as a rule neither do siblings who aren't bridesmaids/best man.

This is right. I wonder if your DP's sister wants to make sure her brother doesn't feel excluded so is treating him as a sort of honorary member of the wedding party and is applying the rule that normally applies to the best man etc in this situation?

It might be a bit of a nightmare night if you don't know anyone on your table. On the other hand it could be really good fun. Does your DP know anyone whose going to be on your table? Could he make sure to introduce you during the day?

I really wouldn't get too upset about it though.

acasualobserver Mon 22-Feb-16 11:23:04

I will be seated with some friends of the bride whom I have never met.

Get to know them, they might be fun.

elliejjtiny Mon 22-Feb-16 11:23:25

YANBU. At my wedding all the siblings were involved so sat at the top table. I gave my bridesmaids the option of sitting at the top table or not. The flower girl wanted to sit with her mum and dad and one of the bridesmaids wanted to sit with her boyfriend but the others sat on the top table.

I was dreading BIL's wedding reception as DH was best man and I had a 4 year old, a 2 year old with severe SN and I was pregnant. They sat me with DH's grandparents who were happy to help so it worked out fine in the end. Do you know anyone else at the wedding like cousins or grandparents you could ask to sit with?

SushiAndTheBanshees Mon 22-Feb-16 11:23:52

What wilconcern said.

You've only been dating a year. Do you really want to make a fuss about where you sit for an hour or two, at a potential future SIL's actual wedding? Hate to say it, but it's not about you.

Stillunexpected Mon 22-Feb-16 11:26:42

This will only be "awkward" if you make it so.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Mon 22-Feb-16 11:26:51

See, I don't understand how you can be put out that you're not considered close enough to be family yet, when you also say the only reason I would go is to be with my partner - I don't know the sister all that well. If you don't know each other that well, it's not that much of a suprise you aren't on the family table? Yes, it's different to have her brother up with her, but I plan on having my sisters up with me for personal reasons. It's different, but not odd.

I really think ywbu to pull out. I went to a wedding recently, I was on a table with no one I knew. It wasn't for long though, only to eat and sit through the speeches - I'm sure you can grin and bear it! If you 'don't want to make a fuss', just go, eat your meal and make small chit-chat. You'll have the rest of the day with your partner. Pulling out with a lame excuses because you can't sit with him will cause resentment for years to come - it's their day, I'm sure you can manage for an hour or so without him.

MrsJorahMormont Mon 22-Feb-16 11:27:03

This is totally normal. The bride and groom have probably put you with her friends thinking it will be a fun table to be at. Don't make any ripples over this if you're planning on becoming part of the family!

vvviola Mon 22-Feb-16 11:27:39

Are you sure that the bride hasn't considered the fact that you will be seated apart from your partner? What I mean is this: my bridesmaid's fiancé and DH's best man's wife were obviously not going to be able to sit at the top table. Fiancé is lovely but I had never met Best Man's wife. I made sure they were at the same table, with some lovely cousins of mine. Cousins were instructed to look out for fiance, and fiance was instructed to look out for wife. Everyone (appeared) happy.

Just because she (I'm saying she as I'm assuming bride has done table plans) has put you on a table with her friends doesn't mean she is not bothered about you, and may actually think that you will get on well with her friends.

Gazelda Mon 22-Feb-16 11:28:36

I don't think you should cancel - will come across as very childish. Nor do I think you should feign an emergency on the day - the bride will not appreciate added drama and whatever excuse you come up with might cause worry to the bridal party/your DP's family.

You could ask DP to request to be seated with you. But maybe there is a particular reason why he has been seated at top table and, again, your request might be seen as an unnecessary complication.

Or you could suck it up for a few hours. Get to know the other guests on your table and be determined to enjoy it. You will sit with your DP in church/register office, and will be with him after the meal - plenty of time to be together.

Go armed with small talk (weather, aren't the flower girls cute, how do you know the couple, isn't the venue amazing, are you going on holiday this year, do you have family, etc etc).

Is there a hen night planned? if there is, presumably you will meet some of these friends there? That's another great conversation opener on the big day.

I'm shy myself, so hate being in situations with people I don't know. But on this occasion I think you're just going to have to try to get through it.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Mon 22-Feb-16 11:28:37

Is he dressing up in all the morning suit finery and being part of the wedding party in any way (however small?). Even if his sister just wants her siblings at the top table for the sake of nice pictures, the meal doesn't last long - you'll have all day to be together.

My brother (usher), sister and best mate (bridesmaids), BIL (best man) were all at the top table without their partners.

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